AUGUSTA, Ga. — The thing about the Masters is, you win one, you’re invited to play forever. Well, at least until the green jackets politely put you out to pasture.
That isn’t happening to Bernhard Langer just yet. The German, who won a pair of his own green jackets way back in 1985 and ’93, is still kicking it around Augusta National, and doing so quite well.
Langer posted a 4-under 68 on Thursday, backed that up with a 1-over 73 on Friday, putting him at 3-under for the tournament and comfortably inside the cut line.
Why is that a big deal?
Because at 63, it makes him the oldest player in the history of the tournament to make it to the weekend — 1 month and 1 day older than Tommy Aaron.
The past champion exemption is part of the beauty of this tournament. Though they aren’t always contenders, their being there does connect the past to the present. It allows younger generations to see the legends they’ve only heard about — a sort of old timers game, only for real.
Sometimes the exemption allows for a little magic, as it did in 1986 when Jack Nicklaus won his sixth green jacket at age 46.
And it will allow the likes of Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson to remain relevant, even if for only one week a year, well into the 2030s and beyond.
At 3-under, Langer is lapping the likes of Jordan Spieth and, at the time of publication, Bryson DeChambeau, one of the favorites to win this thing.
Langer will play the weekend. They may not.
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